Not the time to move goal­posts

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

PREMIER Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian must have choked on her corn­flakes.

Af­ter the pain and suf­fer­ing the Coali­tion en­dured over its sta­di­ums plans in the March state elec­tion, the premier is pre­sented with a plan to ditch the ANZ up­grade.

In­stead of spend­ing $800 mil­lion on the re­de­vel­op­ment, it is pro­posed the gov­ern­ment in­stead spend the money on build­ing three new subur­ban sta­di­ums.

That a premier on a twoseat ma­jor­ity scotched the plan is hardly sur­pris­ing. To do oth­er­wise would have been po­lit­i­cal sui­cide.

Vot­ers went to the elec­tion know­ing the Coali­tion would be re­de­vel­op­ing ANZ Sta­dium.

Now is not the time to be mov­ing the goal­posts — es­pe­cially when po­lit­i­cal lead­ers across the coun­try are about to de­clare a na­tional emer­gency on drought. And also af­ter hav­ing dropped an abor­tion bill onto vot­ers.

It is a view many in the min­istry hold.

This is not to say the subur­ban grounds should be left to rot.

Rugby league fans have shown they pre­fer go­ing to their lo­cal grounds rather than head­ing out to a big sta­dium. This was demon­strated with Eels fans flock­ing to Bankwest Sta­dium.

Mean­while, ANZ has to cater for ev­ery­thing from rock con­certs to the Ed­in­burgh Tat­too.

Many in rugby league are also non­plussed at the Al­lianz re­build, which is less than what they had been ex­pect­ing, with plans for a Bankwest-style sta­dium scrapped in favour of a re­vised ver­sion of what was there. That said, the up­grade of the Moore Park venue is un­der­way.

The com­mon­sense ap­proach would be to pro­ceed with ANZ, while draft­ing plans for the subur­ban up­grades.

And fi­nally, putting the plan to the pub­lic.

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